Coffee Break – Katia Essential Wallet

Boje Designs Katia Essential WalletIf you’ve been hunting for an affordable wallet, consider an oilcloth one — you can often get a really colorful, fun piece that holds up quite well in your purse. This lovely purple one from Boje Designs (available in another 3 colors) is $34 at Amazon. Boje Designs Katia Essential Wallet



  1. Any recs for electric shavers?

    • I have this one:
      It works fine. I can take it on a trip without the charger. It does tend to turn itself on in my suitcase if I don’t pack it carefully.

  2. Re-posting here for more views…

    When is it ok to jump ship at a large law firm? I have been at my current large (for my mid-sized midwestern city, not BigLaw) law firm job for one year. I graduated and passed the bar in Spring/Fall 2011. I really like the work and the practice area, but I am confident that working for the billable hour and striving to make partner here (or at any firm) is not for me. However, I am not really sure how to start looking for something else. Like I said, I actually like my job, I just don’t see being a partner in a law firm as my future. I am also cognizant of the fact that a big part of why I like my job is the salary and other perks (flexibility, resources, etc.)
    I guess, therefore, I have two issues: 1.) how do you find life after a law firm, and 2.) what is the minimum (or recommended) amount of time to spend at your first legal job?

    • Can’t help you with the first part of your question as I’m still at a firm. But on the second part, I think a year is fine if you’d be leaving to go to a different kind of job entirely. For instance, if you decided you want to work in-house, most in-house lawyers are people who decided that the whole big firm thing wasn’t for them. So the fact that you decided that too after giving it a try for a year or more will be entirely unremarkable to them. If you just didn’t like your particular firm and wanted to interview at other similar firms, then I’d say you needed to stick it out for longer so that you don’t seem flighty.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        In house after one year is going to be really tough unless you go via secondment or have some prior to law school connection with the industry…. Not impossible, but if you can, try and get some more experience.

    • karenpadi :

      I replied in the morning thread.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Just a plug for the idea that you may want to give the firm (or another private firm) a little more than just a year before you completely decide that partner is not for you. Especially if you like the work. If you hate the work and practice area, fine, maybe it’s not for you. But if you like the work and are just disillusioned by the billable hour (which trust me, we are all) you may want to give it another year or two. My perspective changed dramatically as I got a little further into my practice. I always said I couldn’t imagine making partner or wanting to be counsel, but am now on the cusp. The job changes are you mature and get more responsibility (esp. in Mid-Law) and it may turn out that you like it better.

    • So you are in the middle/end of your first year? Your exit opportunities are most marketable once you have a few more years under your belt. Associates usually stay at least 3, more typically 4-6, years before leaving for in-house positions – that strikes a good balance between “knows what she is doing” and “too experienced/expensive”. People either head for clients they’ve had good relationships with, or get picked off by recruiters.

      • This. The 3-5 yr window is your golden window. If you like the work, why on earth would you leave already? Pay down your debt, save up a ton of money, enjoy being young and rich. The next job will likely find you once you’re ready to start looking (at years 3-5, your clients will start nosing around you if they like you and want you in-house and recruiters will probably start calling too).

        • This this this. If you’re getting good experience and can stand the hours (for now), milk it for all it’s worth. The firm is going to use you, but you can use it right back for learning opportunities, free CLE, and the intangible perks you like. Prime jumping-off time occurs between yrs 3-5, as TBK indicates.

        • I work at a small firm AND even I think of junpeing ship from time to time. Like when I have alot of work when the MAnageing partner does NOT and he just ooogeles me all day while buffeing his BALD head. But Other times I decide to stay b/c the Manageing partner sends me to get cookies from Crumbes bakary, or give’s me a gift card from Lord and Taylor (my fave!) OR gives me a chalengeing case to try!

          So you have to aske your self do I feel lucky In my job? If you always say no then it is time to start lookeing.

          You might want to look inhouseOr appley for a judgship which I will do after I have kids. For now I need to be a partner and schmooze the cleint’s alot more so I canbuild my port follieo. Yay!

      • I should add – law firms do not think, nor want, every associate to be striving to make partner. They want you to act like you are so that they can make lots of money off of you while you continue to get good assignments and client exposure, and then they want most of you to leave and become clients.

    • Thanks all! These were all answers that I expected and knew deep down. It only came to my attention because I recently saw a great job posted asking for someone with 1-3 years experience. I think I’ll make the best of it and see where I am in a couple of years!

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        Please also use the time to get your financial house in order: pay off debts, save a bunch, start an investing plan, devise a budget. This will all be a lot more difficult on a non-Big Law salary.

  3. Long-Waisted :

    At the ripe old age of 35, I have finally figured out something about my body type that has eluded me for years: I am long-waisted. Which explains why whenever I am seated around a table, I’m always much taller than everyone else, despite the fact that I’m not actually so disproportionately tall. I am really self-conscious about this and always feel like the jolly green giant at meetings. Any tips for 1) how to dress to minimize the long-waistedness, or 2) how to not feel like such a freak while being taller than everyone else, including the men, at the conference table?

    • Anonymous :

      Re: question 2 – own it. The men probably feel awkward being shorter. First thing I do when I seat myself at a conference table is to raise the chair as high as it will go. It’s ridiculous, but height can equal power and authority.

      • me too – I always raise my seat first thing at a meeting. OP – have you tried lowering yours?

      • Wannabe Runner :

        A tip from NGDGTCO is to spread your papers out at meetings, too. Take up space. It shows confidence. The less powerful people at the meetings have their papers in little stacks.

        • That’s so funny – I think the people with their papers spread all over look very scattered and disorganized and not at all powerful. But maybe it’s just the people I see doing this.

    • Pretty much every conference room I’ve been in has chairs that can be adjusted vertically. Just lower the seat when you sit down. I have to raise mine and no one ever notices or says anything when I fiddle with it.

    • Anastasia :

      Me too! I didn’t realize this until recently, when my same-height friend borrowed my hemmed-for-heels jeans, and wore them with flats. I’d always thought my legs were long, but it turns out that’s only because I’m tallish.

      I prefer dresses or structured tops to nip in nearer the top of my long waist; it makes me feel more proportional. Also, I tuck any top that can be tucked and steer clear of any pants or skirts that sit too low on my hips — they make my legs look stumpy. All belts, especially wider ones, are your friends, as are un-cuffed pants (no visual interruption in the line) and knee-length skirts with higher heels.

      As for the meetings, I lower my chair a bit (which I have to do anyway to keep my knees at an ergonomically correct angle). If you can’t lower your chair, just own it.

      On a completely unrelated note, I really like this wallet.

      • Long-Waisted :

        This is very helpful — these are all things that I think I’ve unconsciously adopted, but I’ve never been able to figure out why that’s true. Belts, knee-length-skirts with heels, high-waisted belted dress, shorter jackets that don’t drape over my hips — all good on me. I find it hard to find pants that work.

        I do lower chairs where I can, but there are lots of places (restaurants, for example) where you can’t. I will try to own it. I’m a big woman in general, so it always feels awkward to be so huge, but I guess I would also advise myself to just own it with confidence.

        • Yep. I’m 5’9″ but short waisted so I’m the same height at a table but when I stand up, whoa! Suddenly I’m towering over everyone. Meh. If I’m not self-conscious about it, no one else will be either.

  4. transition :

    Just wondering whether anyone’s had any experience making money in writing/editing/fact-checking type gigs. I’ve been writing and publishing for years now but haven’t done so in forums that pay, as I’d wanted to build my resume. Now I’m seeking to be paid for such work but am having a tough time since everyone thinks s/he is a writer lol Ideas?

    • Cornellian :

      I did a gig like this for a sort of think tank arm associated with my graduate/law school (sorry to be so vague) as a non-student, but I did start the gig as a student, and maybe that was the only way in. Anyway I woul dlook at professional and graduate schools for part-time positions doing this.

  5. transition :

    Was just asked to update since I’ve been a tad MIA lately (apologies, apologies!) and haven’t updated y’all in a while (I didn’t know folks were curious haha). That said, I -have- been reading comments, I’ve just come too late to add my thoughts much!

    Last weekend, I was in DC, presenting at a national conference for social workers. I was recognized 3-4 times as being the columnist for the magazine I write for (very cool to have that happen) and I was surprised to find that there was a rush on a book in which I’ve written a chapter, so I was able to see it in print for the first time. I also created a blog, voicingequality dot org. Though I wish I had more commenters (I envy you, Kat!), I’m being told there are many readers, which is super flattering!

    This weekend, I’m in NYC lending a hand to a theater workshop project, cat-sitting in an apt in nyc thanks to couch surfers website (loveitloveitloveit), seeing the shows of my friends for super cheap and trying to figure out what to do with my career life from here since the job hunt isn’t going so well.

    As for dating, the high school guy I mentioned (the one with the kidlet) ended up being amazing for about 6 weeks and then it became clear that he was super insecure about my being “better looking and way smarter” than he (his words). So so much for that. I’m kind of figuring that my being pro-equality + no babies for this womb + educated = probably not living in an area that’ll be ripe with husband potentials. Am I too old for a play toy? Hmmm…

    • Glad you’re getting some kudos and having some fun. And no, you are not old. That would be me… although I’m not interested in younger men.

      • transition :

        none of us are “old!” food can be old or a smell can be old but we just become seasoned or vintage, in my opinion!

        Not sure the guy has to be younger either lol plus at my age, anyone younger is likely not trained enough to be nearly as much fun as a play toy should be lol

        • Seriously, my SO and I regularly laugh about what we didn’t know when we were young. I just assumed when you said “play toy” you meant someone younger!

    • Yay, the conference and NYC sound so exciting, I’m glad those things are working out!!!!! And you KNOW my opinion on the boy sitch… I WILL come over there if I have to, gurl! ;o)

  6. Hey gang,

    I’m looking for good budgeting apps for my iphone. I really just want something where I can type in the total amount I want to spend in a given category in a week/month and then have it deduct by category what I spend. Does that exist? Any recommendations?


    • Sydney Bristow :

      Check out You Need a Budget. It’s a computer-based program (you have to set up the budgeted amounts on the computer) but they have iPhone/android apps that let you track the spending and it updates your budget categories. It syncs automatically through Dropbox now. It’s really easy to use.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I think the website is and when I bought it I was able to get a free trial first to try it out.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I used to use an app called Spend. I loved it. Does exactly what you want.

      My BF used to use You Need a Budget, but it takes more inputting than he is willing to do.

    • Nice, thanks!

  7. I adore the Pippa Wallet from Modalu. Most practical wallet I’ve ever owned and it comes in a load of lovely colors:

    • Ack – love it! I have the bag though – would that be too matchy matchy? I am sad to report the lovely pale beige wallet I bought from Michael Kors last year has really shown its wear.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Love this! I’ve been searching for something just like this. If it had a wristlet strap, it would be perfect.

  8. Is there a point where it becomes acceptable to take the stance of “I’m done protecting you from yourself. Even though that is technically my job, I’m going to say my peace and be done.”? I can’t keep you from failing an audit if you think the corrective actions are stupid and won’t do them, help out with employees when you are favoring one group over the other because the latter is screaming about EEO, or providing technically correct information to leadership and blindsiding him with the full picture later.

    I know not to leave before I’m gone but it’s getting messy and the cards that were built are starting to fall. Any effort to right it is shot down.

    • new york associate :

      I’d say the point where you can give up is the point where you have made the points as clearly and compellingly as possible, and DOCUMENTED your each and every step to make those points. If I were you, I’d shift into CYA mode right away. Document everything. Don’t emotionally engage, but continue to write the emails/send the memos/assert the principles. Protect yourself, and get out of that job.

      • I’ve already started to pull back. No more working over to help others clean-up or getting dragged into things that will get my hands dirty. Only my job and specific tasks that are assigned.

        Employees are so mad they are telling auditors specifics not being done. I don’t think anyone is going to get out of what’s coming very easily.

    • Midwesterner :

      My perception is that your gripe is very common among auditors. Can you transition into finance or accounting?

    • Document document document. One of my relatives is a former CFO who now consults, and her clients ignore her advice all the time, especially on audits. Just make sure there’s a paper trail documenting your advice and that they ignored it, or when it comes back to bite them they’ll blame you.

  9. Total TJ — I’m in the midst of negotiating a car purchase via email and find it totally nervewracking.

    • What do you find nervewracking about it?

    • I negotiated my car purchase over the phone last week. I found it far easier than negotiating in person. I was able to have all of my information in front of me and stick to the deal I wanted.

      If the nerves thing is coming from the giant amount of money you are about to fork over – then yes. 100% understand that.

    • I usually have no issue being pushy, but partially b/c it’s a huge amount of money and partially because, well, I know that car salesmen work on commission and I’m trying not to be a huge jerk about dialing back someone’s livelihood. On the flip side, it’s money out of my pocket, so…yeah. Every time I hit “send” (and I’m doing my d*mndest to send respectful emails — no jerky comments or anything) I wince awaiting the response.

      So far so good but…yeah. Still a tightrope!

      • Don’t stress too much about their commission. Car salespeople and the dealerships also get bonuses for how many cars they sell in a given quarter / year. So even if the person makes less commission on your transaction because you stick to your guns, they still want to make the deal.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Can I ask how negotiating via email or phone even works? We are in the market for a new car and toured the dealers this weekend. I am not looking forward to sitting there waiting for the managers approval on every little move once we decide on the actual car.

      • I just emailed the designated Internet sales person and went from there I feel like they give you a better offer faster because they know they get one shot to impress you. And, they have no idea if you are nervous/dripping in diamonds/driving a hunk of junk etc.

        • That’s interesting – I asked for a quote from a local dealer weeks ago. They followed up via email, never told me if they could get what I wanted, and I never got a quote. I’ve been tired and really busy with work so I haven’t been able to get motivated to go there on a Saturday. I keep thinking I should take a day off just to deal with getting a new car.

      • You know, two salespeople at two dealerships offered to contact me via email so I took them up on it. I’d just ask and see what they say. Good luck!

  10. Legally Brunette :

    I’m thinking of waxing my legs for the first time ever. I can’t do laser (brown skin, black hair). How long do you need to let your hair grow in before waxing? And just generally, do people recommend it? I don’t have too much hair to begin with. TIA.

    • Hair should be about 1/4 of an inch. I personally didn’t like it because I am rather pale and have dark hair so waiting for the grow out didn’t work for me, but if that’s not an issue and you don’t have much to begin with, I say go for it. It’s not super painful but is a bit jarring. Take an ibuprofen 30 min. beforehand.

    • It’s advised to let the hair get to a quarter of an inch long. If it is too short, the wax won’t pull it out. Is it worth it? This is a “to each their own” issue.

    • Agree with the 1/4-inch thing. I don’t have a ton of hair either (pale skin, relatively light hair), and specifically tried waxing because I was experiencing bumps/ingrown hairs while shaving. I don’t think it really helped that much in that area (although TendSkin is awesome and has reduced them a lot). I didn’t find there to be that much a difference in terms of how long it took for hair to grow back. I didn’t find it all that painful (if you have gotten a bikini wax, it’s less painful than that).

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I wax once a month. I’m not particularly hairy, as I have patches where hair doesn’t grow (thank shin pads) and one month usually gives me enough hair to wax without being super obvious, particularly if you have brown skin.

  11. Finger crossing worked and I am off on a business trip with my boss’ boss’ boss this week. Am excited, a bit nervous, but found the thread on travelling with your boss and will be spending tomorrow ensuring I am the most capable/well planned/good at navigating traveller ever.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Can you post a link to that thread? I was desperately searching for it last night.

      Also, GOOD LUCK! You are awesome!

      • It was titled traveling with coworkers but has boss based advice as well:

  12. anon in tejas :

    threadjack, request for help!

    new job, and part of the job duties is being PERFECT in reading/proofing orders for court. I didn’t have this serious attention to detail at the old job, because it was a similar, but different practice of law.

    What suggestions do you have for proofreading orders? getting even better at attention to detail? I am working on developing a methodology before reviewing an order a paralegal’s drafted, but I am making too many mistakes and missing too many things.

    I feel like I am improving, but after every meeting with my supervisor, it’s clear that it’s not fast enough or good enough yet. She’s asking me what she can do to help, and I am not sure…


    • AnonInfinity :

      Are you proofreading for substance or typos? If typos, it can help to read a document backwards. Then you focus on every single word rather than having your eyes just skim over the page because you know what it’s supposed to say.

      • There were some tips here a while back:

        • Oh my goodness! That comment by a first-year could have been written by me! (So could this comment.) It makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not the only lawyer with serious proofreading issues (I used to get the same “be more careful next time” lectures all. the. darn. time. Maybe that’s why even first years get their own offices — you have to have some place to shut your door and cry.)

    • There were s0me good suggestions about this a while ago, like reading the document backwards, and reading line by line (holding another sheet or ruler under the line to block your eyes from skipping to the next one). Maybe try googling for that page? (go to google and search with search terms like proofreading, editing..)

    • Reposting b/c of moderation. There were some tips a while back on this site:

    • editor in tejas! :

      I was a poor proofreader when I started my editing job — I just wasn’t used to being a stickler. I transferred every type of mistake I was making over to a checklist. For a long time, I refused to sign off on anything until I’d checked it for every item on my checklist — the items on there were mistakes I knew I was prone to make. After a while (couple of years), it became second nature and I stopped using the checklists.

      Other techniques I use when reading for typos, grammar, formatting, etc.:
      * Read out loud, with no inflection, pronouncing every word one by one exactly as it’s written. This forces you to see what’s actually there.
      * Read with a ruler, forcing you to look only at the line you’re on.
      * Change the font and font size; sometimes mistakes are clearer when the project looks different from what we’re used to seeing. (Change it back when you’re done, obviously.)
      * I have to print stuff out. I can see stuff on paper that I’d not ever see on the computer screen.
      * If it’s something you’ve written, let it sit for a while before proofing it. It’s nearly impossible to see mistakes immediately after you’ve made them.
      * Go to the most uptight paralegal or attorney on staff and ask what mistakes are commonly made, and then add those to your checklist.
      * Know yourself. Are you able to be detail-oriented to this extent? Some people just aren’t wired to do this, and their brains split when they try to force themselves to. If this is you, figure out how to get as good as you can get, compensate for whatever deficiencies you have, and see if your boss will work with you to add a layer of help where you need it (you’re in the right job, right?). I ask this because, while I can proof if I need to, it’s not my sweet spot. I’m far, far better at the conceptual stuff. I’d go slowly bonkers if I got myself into a proofing-heavy job.
      * There are lots of how to writing / grammar blogs. I read a couple just to soak in stuff that will come up at some point. Is there an equivalent in lawyer world?

    • There have been a few threads on this before, so check the archives.

      Look for common typos, such as “untied” for “united”, “pubic” for “public”. Find and replace is a good tool for this.

      Sometimes using a ruler to keep you focused can help. You can also place a check above each word after you’ve gone over it.

    • I’m a translator, which means I do a lot of proofreading too. It’s definitely something that takes a good while to learn, even for those who have a talent for languages. And even with talent and experience, you will make mistakes. Seriously, an annual report goes through at least three proofreading rounds just on the translator side, and at least as many on the writer/publisher side, and you will still find errors in the final version.

      You are improving and it seems you are getting feedback on your work, and your supervisor wants to help you get better – that’s great! Try to see if there are any patterns to the stuff you miss. Also, make a list of the unforgivable errors (which basically are those that change the meaning of the clause or makes it hard to understand what it’s supposed to mean) and always double-check those.

      Check if there are any classes on editing/proofreading that you could take. Preferably ones with practical parts as well.

      The iron rule of proofreaders is to always proofread on paper. Print it out in at least 12 p, good margins and double line width. Avoid working with pdfs like the plague. I’ve seen experienced editors make edits in pdfs that are completely off, probably because you cannot see how it’ll look post-edit the same way you can in Word.

      And I probably shouldn’t say this, but … it kind of helps to pretend to hate the writers and want to taunt them as much as possible with their mistakes. Obviously, you should keep your feedback professional and polite, but the devil on your shoulder has sharp eyes. ;)

    • Make a quick checklist of the most common errors that you need to look for. On orders, for instance, paralegals usually use an old order as a template, so look for wrong dates/days/times and wrong party names. Also check that correct gender pronouns are used. And make sure the order addresses what the accompanying motion asked for.

  13. dorothy perkins report :

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great recommendation on this site! Got the navy pleat shift dress, and it looks amazing on my size 14 hourglassy/large busted self. I cannot wait to wear it to work! PSA for others with my body type: the stone version of the dress is still on sale.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you comment on length and sizing?

      • Anonymous :

        The 14 petite fit very comfortably — no lines or bumps, and it looks slimming. Falls just below the knee on my 5’3″ frame.

        Did order another dress, also in 14P (multi twist, I believe) which fell a couple inches above the knee.

  14. Hey friends,

    Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who offered hair advice last week when I couldn’t decide what to do with my long, layered, boring hair. I got it cut this weekend and although it’s not drastically different, it’s different enough that it feels fresh. I got about 4 inches off the back and about 5+ off the front, lots of layers, some very long bangs (more like little bits and pieces than real bangs) and i love it! I’m still toying with doing something more drastic, (thinking about a perm- has anyone done one in the last decade?) but for now this feels good. Thanks for all the suggestions!

  15. re: this afternoon’s earlier thread
    If there’s ever a FAQ for this community, under “Things We Get Emotional About,” may I suggest “heel height?”

    • I would second your proposal, but I would propose a friendly amendment, making the title: BEWARE THESE TOPICS: We get emotional about them.

      • Please add as an addendum, panty hose. Sleeve cut outs. Whether certain characters in book should or shouldn’t have died.

  16. siiiigh, afternoons suck, cause i have no one left to G-Chat with (once east coast people are off) to distract me from work. stupid afternoons. :o( #firstworldproblems

  17. onehsancare :

    It’s the end of the month, I’m supposed to be doing timesheets, but I just made my second NAS order instead: six pair Donna Karan hose, one Natori bra, and three different-size NYDJ stretch ponte trousers, hoping one will be work-appropriate, planning to exchange one and return the other to end up with two, one black and one grey. Not even exciting. I hate timesheets.

  18. Totalanon pls :

    I have a question about a health concern far off the topic of this blog, but covered with such emotion or justthefactsmaam elsewhere that it can be hard to figure out what’s up. Yes, “that” women’s health topic: menopause.

    I know 45 is early for “the change” but I started perimenopause (night sweats, less regularity than usual) 1 or 2 years ago, after chugging along on a very defined schedule for a long time. How long does perimenopause last? Am I going to be like this for years, or am I almost finished?

    I’ve had funny twinges in my midsection for a little longer than the night sweats. An ultrasound was uncertain, because the things on my ovaries could have been eggs developing, at that time of the month. I haven’t been back to follow that up. Have any of you that have gone through this noticed unusual feelings “down there”?
    Last question. This one feels weirdest of all: i have skipped several periods recently. I don’t just mean that the timespan has been longer than usual or that they’ve been light. I’ve had zero flow, and the length between periods is exactly twice what it usually is. If an ovary peters out, does that stop everything for the month that the ovary would normally produce an egg, or is this coincidence?

    My mom and sister have had medical interventions that prevented them from normal menopause, so any advice from experience would be appreciated!

  19. Fell asleep during part of the last episode- what’s going on with Ellens mom?

work fashion blog press mentions